By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
Times, they are a-changin’. And so is the Cleveland Browns front office. With so many hires these past few months, here’s the current list so you can keep track at home!
With four games remaining in the 2017-18 season, the Browns fired Sashi Brown and replaced him at General Manager with John Dorsey. The brilliance of the timing was not lost on me. First, they avoided a bidding war as the New York Giants were about to shake up their organization. Second, Dorsey was able to see for himself what was going on with the team in the locker room, at practices, during games. These are key things for a G.M. to see in order to evaluate both the talent and the coaches!
Dorsey has an amazingly successful track record at talent evaluation with the Green Bay Packers and, most recently, the Kansas City Chiefs. The biggest complaint of the analytical approach the Browns have taken for the past few years is that there wasn’t a “Football Guy” calling the shots. Well, if nothing else, John Dorsey is most definitely a “Football Guy!”
Cleveland is armed with high draft picks and about $100 million in cap space for new general manager John Dorsey, whom the Browns hired Dec. 7. https://t.co/khXbxnaKhi
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) January 4, 2018
Assistant General Manager: Eliot Wolfe
Another “Football Guy” from the Green Bay Packers organization, Wolfe has been on the short list for quite a few teams looking for a General Manager. That he would take the Assistant G.M. job in Cleveland, speaks to his belief in John Dorsey and the program they will be building (rebuilding) together.
The Browns are not a joke anymore. They have hired some very knowledgeable staff im Cleveland. Zo Highsmith was scout of the year a few years back. Eliot Wolf should be a GM already, Glenn Cook is a beast from GB, and John Dorsey is smart. They’re putting together a #DreamTeam
— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) January 16, 2018
Vice President of Player Personnel: Alonzo Highsmith
Maybe the Browns should change their name to the Cleveland Packers – East? Another guy who knows how to spot – and deal with – talent, Highsmith is well thought of around the NFL. A Miami (FL) graduate, he was drafted #3 overall in 1987 by the Houston Oilers. After an extended contract negotiation that saw him holding out for six months, he joined the team and became one of the best blocking fullbacks in the NFL.
He played for them until 1989, moved on to Dallas for the 1990-91 season and finished his career in Tampa Bay in 1992. He cited chronic knee issues as the reason for his retirement. He returned to the NFL in 2012 as the Senior Personnel Executive for the Packers, where he remained until he joined the Browns in January.
Kinda weird for another team to have more Ron Wolf scouting influence than the #Packers. Yes, Brian Gutekunst was hired by Wolf, but with John Dorsey, Alonzo Highsmith and now Eliot Wolf, the Browns are carrying that torch.
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) January 10, 2018
Quarterback Coach: Ken Zampese
Amidst rumors of “a near mutiny” in the locker room, the Cincinnati Bengals fired offensive coordinator Zampese. Cincinnati’s loss is definitely Cleveland’s gain as he takes on their Quarterback Challenge. Having worked with Jon Kitna, Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton, Zampese knows quarterbacks and, more importantly to some, he knows the AFC North Division.
He father was famed NFL Head Coach Ernie Zampese, so don’t be surprised if “Air Coryell” comments become routine during games next year. The TV and Radio guys seem to like that kind of stuff to fill in any slow spots during a broadcast, so you’ve been warned
Ken Zampese hired to coach the quarterbacks for the #Browns, presumably replacing David Lee. Still leaves the OC position wide open. Wonder if Don John Dorsey is having a bigger hand in picking that position than once thought.
— Talk the Land (@TalktheLand) January 12, 2018
Offensive Coordinator: Todd Haley
This may be the second most important signing of the off season. Complaints each week about Head Coach Hue Jackson and his awful play-calling lead most fans to hope and pray that an actual Offensive Coordinator would be hired. AND that Jackson would be willing to hand over those play-calling duties. The choice of Todd Haley, with his experience and track record, means he will also be calling plays!
Having worked in the NFL since 1995 as a Scouting Assistant, Haley spend the last six seasons in Pittsburgh developing Ben Roethlesburger and that high-powered offense. While the Browns don’t have an Antonio Browns or Le’veon Bell on the roster, they do have draft picks galore for Haley to play with. Hopefully he’ll have some input into their choices. If nothing else, he is another guy that knows the AFC North and I believe he will make the most of the offensive weapons that Dorsey gets him in the draft and through free agency.
— Browns Report (@browns_fgsn) February 2, 2018
Special Teams Coordinator: Amos Jones
I’ll go on record as saying I was not a fan of former special teams coordinator Chris Tabor. I’m sure he’s a very fine fellow. But as far as the play on the field went, I’ve thrown many a remote control at the TV during punts being returned for touchdowns and horrific open field tackling. Amos Jones has spent time with the Steelers and the Cardinals and has coached teams with two AFC Championships and one Super Bowl win.
Can confirm #Browns plan to hire Amos Jones as special teams coordinator
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) January 18, 2018
Personnel Consultant: Scot McCloughan
I’m sure this will sound overly dramatic, but this off season may be the most important one in Browns history. At the very least, it will set the tone for what this team will do to bounce back after an 0-16 season. The addition of McCloughan, whose background is all talent scouting, clearly shows that this new front office wants to put talent on the field. Being credited with drafting such play-makers as Adam Timmerman, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Russell Wilson, there are some good choices to keep Browns fans hopeful.
The most interesting things about Scot McCloughan consulting with the Browns are that he knows Kirk Cousins well and he’s talked up Baker Mayfield https://t.co/KzJVxpcdom
— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) February 5, 2018
Now that the big changes are complete from a front office perspective, it’s time for the Browns to make some changes on the field. With all of their cap space, they should be big players in free agency (starting March 14th) and fans are all expecting something drastically better for next season. Add to that the multitude of draft picks at their disposal and this group of guys has all the tools they could ever want to put together a roster that can win games. And maybe even the division. Hey – a girl can dream!
Talk Cleveland Browns Football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8